15
votes
7answers
7k views

What determines a chord's name?

I have very little knowledge of music theory (enough to know what's the major scale and how to find the major chord of a note) but I know a good number of chords by name and could figure out the ones ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is IV-iv-I an effective chord sequence in a major key?

An example of this is the song Nobody Home by Pink Floyd. The last line of the intro is, in a C major key: F Fm C % I think this sounds great, and in fact I often use such passages when ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a string skipping exercise?

What is a string skipping exercise? I've heard about this exercise a lot, including on this website. What is it? What skills does it develop? Can you give an example?
13
votes
6answers
8k views

Electronic drums in apartment

I'm a drummer and recently moved into an apartment with high ceilings and hardwood floors. I have a Roland TD-4. I've been researching for ways to be able to practice quietly without disturbing my ...
12
votes
9answers
2k views

What are the various methods of tuning the guitar?

This is not a question as much as it is a discussion. I am curious to know what are the different techniques to tune the guitar (using standard tuning) given you know that one string is in tune. I ...
46
votes
20answers
23k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
29
votes
15answers
65k views

Why shouldn't I put electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar?

I've always found even the lightest acoustic (bronze) guitar strings to be a bit too heavy to play comfortably. Electric (nickel) guitar strings tend to be lighter. But nobody uses electric strings on ...
20
votes
7answers
4k views

Why is the key included in classical music titles?

I was always curious why classical composers use names like this Étude in E-flat minor (Frédéric_Chopin) or Missa in G major (Johann Sebastian Bach). Is this from scales of this songs? Weren't they ...
19
votes
3answers
20k views

How necessary is an USB Audio Interface?

I'm currently recording songs on my computer and the quality of my microphone is awful and the microphone is very quiet. That doesn't surprise me, because it's a 20$ karaoke microphone... I got into ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is music theory built so tightly around the C Major scale?

Lately, I'm trying to study deeper into music theory, learning Intervals, key Signatures, Chords, Progressions etc. I can see that everything is built around the 'normal' notes that belong to the C ...
14
votes
8answers
15k views

What exercises can I do to improve my timing?

I recently made a recording consisting of overdubs in GarageBand. Playing it back, I was horrified to hear that while I felt as if I was in the groove while recording, I had actually been wildly ...
26
votes
11answers
20k views

Can anyone learn to sing higher?

So, I sing to myself a lot, and one thing that really frustrates me is that I cannot even reliably hit a middle C. (I'm male.) This is basically unacceptable to me even for ordinary shower-singing. ...
24
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there a way to develop “Perfect Pitch”?

I was wondering if there is/are any aural exercise('s), analogous to how playing scales can develop your muscle memory, that can help to develop "Perfect Pitch"?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Are there any MIDI extensions that allow quarter tones?

It'd be nice to be able to use MIDI for more diverse music than just that based on western scales. Are there any MIDI extensions that support quater tones, or other sub-semi-tone pitch divisions? I ...
16
votes
5answers
917 views

Is it possible to create the illusion of a sub-harmonic?

The way I understand it, a normal plucked tone consists of a great many overtones in addition to the base tone. A pinched harmonic, however, shifts the base tone higher into the overtone series by ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Name for descending semitones under a repeating musical phrase?

In much contemporary music, especially instrumental guitar music, there is a particular device employed. It involves a musical phrase in which usually one note, often a bass note, descends in one ...
9
votes
4answers
14k views

What is the difference between male head voice and falsetto?

What is the fundamental difference between head voice and falsetto in male singers? I think I know the answer, but I cannot be sure in its credibility, since all my self-researched knowledge comes ...
39
votes
3answers
3k views

In live performance, what is a “monitor”

In discussions about live amplified performance, I have heard the term "monitor" or "monitor speaker" - what does this mean?
23
votes
9answers
30k views

Will a 61-key keyboard severely restrict my piano repertoire?

I'm planning on trading my 88-key digital piano for a 61-key portable music workstation as I'm more inclined into rock keyboards as of late than classical music. However, I do enjoy playing classical ...
20
votes
5answers
9k views

Why is a grand piano better than an upright piano?

A Grand piano is considered better than an upright piano. Aesthetically I could understand why, but why does the orientation of the strings matter so much sound-wise?
18
votes
7answers
9k views

Why does the Dorian mode on C have two flats?

I'm studying scale modes and I just found on Wikipedia that the Dorian mode on C has two flats... Why is this? Because the Dorian mode is just the major scale (Ionian) starting from the second ...
17
votes
2answers
391 views

Could B♭ instruments be built in C? Why are they in B♭ in the first place?

Why did the clarinet and trumpet get made to 'be' in B♭? Could they have been made to produce concert pitch C? This would make a composer's life so much easier when physically writing scores. ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

When tuning a guitar, how should I strike the strings?

When tuning a guitar, what is the best way to strike a string to get it as close to pitch as possible? I'd like to get it as close to the right pitch as I possibly can. I've noticed with my tuner ...
15
votes
9answers
9k views

How to select a key-signature for a song

There are so many songs in pretty odd key-signatures like 4,5,6 sharps or flats. At least this is my impression when I listen to songs on the radio/net while trying to follow them on my piano/guitar. ...
14
votes
1answer
584 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How to identify a particular song or piece?

I’ve heard a piece of music, but I don’t know its name or who performs it. How can I find this information?
12
votes
7answers
346 views

Are there some classical pieces that lend themselves well to guitar?

I would like to practice reading music on something other than notation written for guitar. Are there other pieces written for violin, for instance-or other instruments, that can be transposed easily ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

What tempo is Agitato?

I'm looking at Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C# minor and notice that the tempo changes from Lento to Agitato. I'm familiar with the former tempo marking, but not the latter. At what tempo should Agitato ...
10
votes
7answers
21k views

Fingers Too Short for Barre Chords?

My wife is learning the guitar and is getting pretty good. She gets frustrated though because she can't play barre chords. She claims that her fingers are literally too short to ever be able to play ...
9
votes
2answers
607 views

Finding the “Starting point” when creating a composition or score

This is a fairly simple one, and hopefully not too wide-open to be permitted here: what approaches are available when sitting at a fresh screen or sheet of paper, or at your instrument, to create the ...
7
votes
5answers
20k views

How to make ASIO work with multiple programs: how can I listen to Guitar Rig plus something else through the same interface?

I've been using Guitar Rig 4 for a year or two, and it's a fairly useful toy for a bedroom guitarist. Currently, I use a Behringer UCG102 USB interface, which has a guitar in and headphone out. When ...
19
votes
10answers
2k views

How to do “metal” harmonics (pinch etc)

I've always struggled with this, tried watching Youtube tutorials, but can't get it to work. Should you hold the pick in any particular way? I've always held my picks with three fingers, for ...
18
votes
4answers
7k views

What are the Solfège names of the semitones between the basic do, re, mi, etc?

What are the names of all the notes in a sol-fa scale, especially the chromatic notes between the basic Do, Re, Mi's.
18
votes
7answers
7k views

How to hide a flat pick in the right hand when switching to finger picking, Warren Haynes style

Watch any Warren Haynes video on YouTube and you'll notice that he often likes to mix it up and play solos with a pick but mid-way switch to using his fingers. ...
16
votes
9answers
956 views

Musical Aids to Memorize Intervals

As the tutor for my school's music department, I spend a lot of time helping students drill intervals. However, I only have a handful of songs to recommend recognition. P8 — Somewhere Over the ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

Acoustic guitar - how to wind strings on the tuning posts

While writing an answer to this question, I did a little web searching and found that the way I was taught 29 years ago to wind the strings isn't necessarily the best. On an acoustic guitar, I tend ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Is G sharp major a real key?

I'm mostly self-taught, so I don't know much in the way of theory beyond the basics. I have heard of G sharp Major a few times. I believe a scale in the key goes as such: G♯, A♯, B♯, C♯, D♯, E♯, Fx, ...
12
votes
4answers
569 views

I find myself making the same mistake when practising - despite focussing on that part- how to remedy?

I'm an extremely newbie musician (preparing for Grade II on oboe - no prior musical experience). I've looked into the best ways to practise (and I have a teacher) but I find myself struggling with ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Proper technique for screaming vocal style

I just started screaming properly (i think i have no idea) a bit ago like a couple months and i just need to know if I'm doing it right I will try my best to explain how I scream. When I scream I ...
11
votes
7answers
807 views

What methods can I use to aid note accuracy when playing a Theremin

The main problem I have with the Theremin is identifying "anchors" to help train my muscle memory for note accuracy. My first violin, about 35 years ago, had tape added by my instructor for the first ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Using an electric bass guitar with a guitar amp / hi-fi system?

I understand that you should use an amp that was meant to be used with your instrument, but sometimes maybe you just don't have the money, or your amp is not around when you need it, or for whatever ...
7
votes
2answers
363 views

Accidentals in First Species Counterpoint

On page 39 of Alfred Mann's The Study of Counterpoint there is a passage concerning justification of using accidentals in first species counterpoint. Here is the passage: Aloys: [...]but why did ...
4
votes
5answers
356 views

MIDI: How do I refer to (and search for) software that will play audio from a MIDI piano?

I have a MIDI digital piano that connects to a computer via USB (it also has a normal MIDI out port too) and I'd like to browse for software that lets me play music through my computer's speakers. I ...
2
votes
3answers
503 views

Minimal MIDI digital piano

I'd like to buy my first keyboard instrument. I want a piano touch with 88 keys and MIDI output and otherwise extremely minimal features. I'm hoping this will allow me to experiment with different ...
20
votes
4answers
7k views

Is there any practical difference between 3/4 and 3/8 time?

Is there any practical difference between 4/4 and 8/8? regards a common and unusual time signature; both 3/4 and 3/8 time are pretty common. What difference in performance is implied in the the ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

How can I do rough vocals without hurting my voice?

I recently wrote a song where the vocals are supposed to sound rough, but not quite growling/screaming. What's the best way to get that sort of sound from my voice without any long-term or short-term ...
11
votes
5answers
23k views

How can I prevent the noise my guitar pick makes?

When I play the guitar (electric with steel strings), I can hear the noise of the pick clashing against the steel strings. When I play a chord, after my pick triggers one string it then falls against ...
10
votes
5answers
634 views

Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?

I'm learning a song in the key of D flat. I know that any middle A within the song is flat. However, is a high A (above the staff) still flat?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What guitar tunings allow many chords without fretting between “live” strings

When playing the guitar, I find it difficult to fret a string without touching the string on either side and ruining the sound. Open tunings make it very easy to play one type of chord by barring ...

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